401(k) Pain Silver Lining

Relief at Gas Pump No, it doesn’t make up for the vertigo-inducing gyrations (mostly down) on Wall Street the last six weeks or so. But, it’s a little consolation:  dramatically lower gas prices. At Costco, the price for regular (87) octane gas recently was $2.159. For Costco members (I am), it’s actually even lower: net...
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Real Estate Term of the Day: “Puff Back”

Your first year in real estate, every term is a new term. Your 16th year, not so much . . . Now, I’m lucky if I learn 1-2 new (to me) real estate terms per year — usually at a continuing ed class I attend outside my region. Egg Soot on Your Face So, at least one...
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Calling 811 Ahead of Landscaping Work . . . or Risk Calling 911 Later

Contractor:  “Uh-oh, I Think I Just Hit Some Kind of Line!” When someone lists their home, their Realtor is responsible for having the utilities (gas, electric) marked before the “For Sale” sign is installed (confession:  at bigger brokers, our front desk automatically takes care of that for us). But, what if the owner is (re)doing their...
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Christmas Present

Gas < $2 Gallon “The U.S. Energy Information Administration said this week that the country’s proved reserves of natural gas rose 10% in 2014 to a record of 388.8 trillion cubic feet.” –“Gas Driller Hits a Gusher — and Sinks Its Own Stock“; The Wall Street Journal (11/26/2015) If gas at discounters like Sam’s Club...
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Fall 2015: Gas Coupons Make a Comeback

10¢ x 2 x 20 Gallons = Real Money When gas hit $4 a gallon (and kept going) in 2013, it was hard to get excited about coupons offering 5¢ off a gallon. Sorry, not worth the time or effort. Fast forward to this Fall, when regular unleaded in the Twin Cities is approaching $2...
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White Swans, Gray Swans & Energy Analysts

“A Penny Not Spent on Gas . . is a Penny Earned,” or, “Houston, We You Have a Problem” “Oil’s Drop Spills Into Other Assets.” —Headline, Wall Street Journal (12/12/2014) You’d certainly think collapsing oil prices would qualify as a “white swan” event — an unforeseen, “three standard deviations” occurrence that most people would view...
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